Heartland Center Aids State with Critical Outreach Program

New effort already saving lives

“This program has amazing potential,” said Craig Pittman, Outreach Coordinator of the Heartland Center Disease Management ADA 3700 Project. “It’s already saving Medicaid millions of dollars AND keeping people healthier and out of the emergency rooms.”

The program is a collaborative effort among the Department of Mental Health, the MO HealthNet Division, the Coalition of Community Mental Health Centers, and Division of Behavioral Health treatment providers.

Heartland Center became involved in the new project at the end of March and already has success stories to tell.

“Actually, Devin was my first client,” said Pittman. “He was in the Truman Medical Center hospital with a diagnosis of advanced liver cancer and cirrhosis of the liver. He was basically homeless, without resources to fill his prescriptions, and needed to convince the KU liver transplant team that he was a good candidate for a transplant.”

“We were able to get him signed up for our CSTAR program, qualified for prescription help through TMC and moved into an Oxford
House in Independence. So far, he is doing well, staying sober, and his health has improved enough to make him a possible
candidate for the transplant he needs,” Pittman said. “We have not only impacted his life, but his wife’s also. She is also getting help and staying sober. She’s living in a women’s shelter in Independence.”

The Disease Management project is specifically designed to provide intensive assistance to people with serious health concerns and substance abuse problems. The Heartland Center program is staffed by an outreach coordinator, two recovery support specialists and part-time nursing staff. Staff “reach out” to eligible individuals in the community and provide help to coordinate their medical and substance abuse conditions.